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Research Institutes and Research Centres Procedures
1. Purpose:
This document sets out the procedures to support the Research Institutes and Research Centres Policy and the selection criteria against which a proposal for the establishment of Research Institutes and Research Centres should proceed. These procedures provide details on the operation, periodic reporting and review procedures for Research Institutes and Research Centres, and for disestablishment where appropriate.
 
2. Scope:
These procedures apply to all proposals to establish new Research Institutes and Research Centres. These procedures also apply to existing Research Institutes and Research Centres. Transitional arrangements for existing Research Institutes and Research Centres to ensure compliance with this policy will be made by the respective Directors. It is expected that compliance should be achieved within a year of the implementation of the policy on Research Institutes and Research Centres.
This set of procedures supersedes all previous documents.
 
3. Procedure:
  1. ESTABLISHMENT
    1. Proposals for Research Institutes or Research Centres
      Proposals for the establishment of new Research Institutes or Research Centres are submitted to the Office of the Deputy-Vice Chancellor Research & Innovation (DVCR&I). Proposals will be reviewed against the selection criteria outlined in Appendix A.
    2. Formal Establishment
      A Research Institute or Research Centre is formally constituted as an research entity either within a Faculty or Faculties in the case of cross-Faculty Institutes or Centres. The details of the management and leadership arrangements for the Institute or Centre, the relationship of the Institute or Centre to the designated and other associated Faculties, funding arrangements for the Institute or Centre, resource allocations and any other relevant arrangements must be contained in a proposal for the establishment of the Institute or Centre. The Institute or Centre will be formally named at the time of establishment or soon after approval by the Vice-Chancellor.
    3. Strategic Research Plan and Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
      The Director of the Research Institute or Research Centre, in consultation with the DVCR&I, will be responsible for the development and refinement of a strategic research plan and appropriate KPI for the Institute or Centre within six months of establishment.
  2.  OPERATIONAL PRINCIPLES
    1. Length of Operation
      Research Institutes or Research Centres will normally operate for a period of 5 years or 3 years respectively. A Research Institute will be reviewed in the 4th year of its operation whilst a Research Centre in its 2nd year of its operation, with the possible outcomes being:
      1. an extension for a further 5 or 3-years for Institutes or Centres respectively; or
      2. an extension with alterations to the operation or composition of the Institute or Centre; or,
      3. closure at the end of the initial 5 or 3-year period of operation for Institutes or Centres respectively.
    2.  Management and Leadership
      A Director of a Research Institute or Research Centre will be appointed for a period of five or three years respectively with the possibility of renewal following a selection process after a call for expressions of interest issued by the relevant Executive Dean.
      The Director will be a staff member of a Faculty and will be expected to maintain links with the teaching and educational activities of that Faculty.
      The Executive Dean sponsoring the Research Institute or Research Centre will provide an agreed proportion of the Director’s time to be devoted to running the Institute or Centre and to research and teaching.
      The Research Institute or Research Centre will have an Executive Management Group as well as an Advisory Board comprising of external members. Details of these are provided in Appendix B.
      A Research Institute or Research Centre Director will:
      • normally hold a continuing academic appointment in the University or a designated Faculty;
      • report to the Executive Dean of the Faculty and be accountable to the DVCR&I for achievement of key research measures in strategic foci areas of the University, and be responsible for planning and leadership of the research at the Institute or Centre;
      • achieve and report against the strategic research goals and KPI of the Institute or Centre;
      • provide a stimulating intellectual research environment for academic staff;
      • be responsible for sound management of Institute or Centre resources; and,
      • have responsibility for financial management of University strategic research funds provided to the Institute or Centre and for overseeing the management of external funds obtained by the Institute or Centre.
    3. Funding
      It is envisaged that Research Institutes or Research Centres may expect to receive an agreed level of funding per annum from the University for the 5 or 3-year period of operation respectively. The quantum of funding and duration of support will depend on the size of the Institute or Centre and the level of strategic funding available for research within the University. Allocations of strategic research funds would be made on a merit-based competitive bidding process established by the Office of the DVCR&I. The Institute or Centre can expect to receive a direct allocation of Research Block Grant based on performance, the value of which will be determined from time to time. Further details on funding are provided in Appendix C.
    4. Relationship to Faculties
      A Research Institute or Research Centre will be constituted as a research entity within a Faculty. Cross-Faculty Research Institutes will have a nominated lead Faculty. A Research Institute may be associated with a number of Faculties with academic staff who contribute research expertise to the Institute or Centre. The relationship between faculties, institutes and centres must be one of mutual benefit and support. It must emphasise the need to maintain a clear link between the teaching and research activities within the University. In addition, members of a Research Institute or Research Centre will be expected to contribute to the teaching program of the nominated lead Faculty. The Faculty will be acknowledged for its research not only within the University but also the research and teaching contributions of members of the Institutes or Centres. Appendix D provides more details of these relationships.
    5. Naming
      To maintain distinctiveness, identity and thematic purpose, the names of Institutes and Centres should include the research focus. Research Institutes and Research Centres must be named in accordance with University Naming Rights Policy (01/09/2011) and Naming Rights Procedures (01/09/2011). Any proposal for a change of name, after initial establishment, will be through a systematic stakeholder consultation and market research initiated by the Research Institute or Research Centre. Recommendations may be made to the DVCR&I and approval is by the Vice-Chancellor.
      Where the use of the words ‘Australian’ or ‘National’ in the title is desired, specific approval by the Vice-Chancellor will be required. Approval will only be granted where the Research Institute or Research Centre has a national dimension to its character such as nodes across Australia, serves as a national focal point or is unique and prominent in Australia.
  3. REPORTING
    1. Annual reporting
      Research Institutes and Research Centres will submit an Annual Report to the DVCR&I covering the research activities and operations of the Institute or Centre during the previous calendar year. The report will be tabled at University Research Committee (URC), as well as the Vice-Chancellor’s Group (VCG) and Executive of the University.
      Annual Reports must include the following information and be submitted by dates agreed upon at the time of the establishment of the Institute or Centre.
      • A list of all staff associated with the Institute or Centre (academic, technical, administrative and adjuncts);
      • Financial statements covering funding received and expended, details of all competitive grants, research contracts and consultancies and other sources of funding to the Institute or Centre;
      • Research achievements against the stated strategy and the KPI of the Institute or Centre;
      • Publications, and other work such as conference proceedings in the previous year;
      • Details of conferences/seminars/workshops convened during the year;
      • Higher Degree Research (HDR) training activity, including enrollments, activities and completions;
      • Staff awards, memberships and contributions to other areas (such as academic journal editing, academic societies, reviewing, submission, government or outside committees); and,
      • Other information that demonstrates the value of the Institute or Centre to the research activity of the University.

        HERDC, ERA and other government reporting The Research Institute or Research Centre must comply with the university requirement to report annually its research activity to the Commonwealth Government through the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC), Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and other government reporting such as the ABS Survey of Research and Experimental Development Higher Education statistics by providing the required information in a timely and organised manner. Such reporting is through the Office of the DVCR&I.
  4. REVIEW
    A formal review of Research Institute or Research Centre will be undertaken in the fourth year of operation of an Institute and second year for Research Centre, coordinated by the Office of the DVCR&I and undertaken by a panel comprised of external senior research leaders appointed by the DVCR&I. Reviews will be undertaken against specified Terms of Reference (ToR) relevant to the KPI of the Institute or Centre. A Research Institute or Research Centre can be reviewed after a shorter time of operation if the DVCR&I, with agreement of the University Executive, deem it necessary on the grounds of lack of performance against KPI or a significant change in academic staff that affects the operation of the Institute or Centre has occurred.
    Details of the review process and closure of Research Institutes or Research Centres are provided in Appendix E.
4. Governing Policy and Legislation:
In developing this procedure the University had regard to the provisions of section 40B (1) (b) of the Human Right Act (ACT).
5. Supporting Information:
NOTE: These appendices provide details on the preferred mode of operation of Research Institutes or Research Centres and the relationship of Institutes and Centres to Faculties. The operational details may be negotiated at the time of establishment or review of the Institutes or Centres through discussion with Faculties and the Office of the DVCR&I and a record kept.
 
APPENDIX A
Proposals for establishment of a Research Institute or Research Centre at the University of Canberra
A template will be provided by the Office of the DVCR&I to facilitate the preparation and submission of proposals for the establishment of Research Institutes or Research Centres. The template includes the following specifications.
 
Executive Summary – An Executive Summary of the proposed Research Institute or Research Centre; core themes of research; broad membership and Faculties involved; strategic value of proposed activities and leadership; [ 1 page]
 
Contribution to the UC Strategic Plan and Research and Innovaton Plan including relationship to the UC crosscutting research themes and to other Faculties; [1 page]
 
Demonstration of critical mass of academic staff, researchers and research performance; demonstration of research quality; engagement and impact of the research field on policy, social and economic life; national and international profile; standing in the field with tabulated outputs of proposed members and ERA; [2 pages]
 
Capacity Details of both the capacity for Institute or Centre status to provide sufficient critical mass, to generate research of international and national standing, and future sustainability; [2 pages]
 
HDR Training Demonstration of how HDR training would be enriched by Institute or Centre status; [1 page]
 
Governance A brief overview of the governance of the Institute or Centre including management structure; advisory board – including potential external members; financial and collaborative arrangements; commencement; and, relationship to Faculty(ies); [2 pages]
 
KPI Indication of proposed KPI; [1 page]
 
Business Plan An outline business plan based on the anticipated research block grant earnings, Faculty contributions and capabilities to attract external research funding; [2 pages]
 
Environmental scan An outline environmental scan of the relevant discipline(s) in Australia and a justification relative to opportunity; [2 pages]
 
Reviewers Three nominated reviewers plus contact details for the proposal who represent external leaders in the discipline area; supporting statements and certification by Executive Dean(s) of the designated and associated Faculties.

Establishment Criteria
The establishment criteria and the metrics used will be discipline sensitive. Evaluation of proposals to establish Research Institutes or Research Centres will be based on performance and demonstrated success to date in addition to projected future performance and potential for prospective success. The explicit criteria, and their related weightings, upon which decisions will be made are as follows:
  • Demonstrated record of productive, coherent and collaborative research activity over a sustained period (20%);
  • Capacity to generate research and industry collaboration that will be of international and national standing and capacity for future sustainability (30%);
  • Value-add of the Research Institute or Research Centre status and contribution to UC strategic directions including cross-cutting themes and HDR training capability (25%); and,
  • Effective and sustainable leadership and governance structures (25%).
Establishment Process
The process for the establishment of a new Research Institute or Research Centre is as follows:
  • Proposal to establish a Research Institute or Research Centre made by a group of academic staff in a Faculty to the Executive Dean of the Faculty or Faculties in the case of cross-faculty Institutes and Centres.
  • Recommendation by the Executive Dean(s) to the DVCR&I.
  • DVCR&I assesses the Institute or Centre proposal and presents recommendations to the University Research Committee (URC) and VCG for endorsement and recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor.
  • Recommendation of the Institute or Centre proposal is tabled by Academic Board for endorsement by University Council.
APPENDIX B
Operation and management of a Research Institute or Research Centre at the University of Canberra
Research Institutes or Research Centres will normally operate for a period of 5 or 3-years respectively.
The Research Institute or Research Centre will have an Executive Management Group as well as an Advisory Board with external members.
 
Institute Executive Management Group – membership
Research Institute Director -- Chair
Executive Dean of the Designated Faculty
Senior academic staff member within the Research Institute
Early Career Researchers (ECR) representative
HDR student representative
 
Institute Advisory Board – membership
Chair – external
At least three other external members with appropriate research expertise
Research Institute Director – ex officio
Executive Dean of Designated Faculty – ex officio
And for Cross-faculty Research Institute Executive Dean representing the relevant Faculty(ies) – ex officio
 
Centre Executive Management Group – membership
Research Centre Director -- Chair
Executive Dean of the Designated Faculty – ex officio
Senior academic staff member within the Research Centre
 
Centre Advisory Board – membership
Chair – external
At least one other external member with appropriate research expertise
Research Centre Director – ex officio
Executive Dean of the Designated Faculty – ex officio

 
APPENDIX C
Funding of a Research Institute or Research Centre at the University of Canberra
It is envisaged that Research Institutes or Research Centres may expect to receive an agreed level of funding from the University for the 5 or 3-year period of operation respectively. The quantum of funding and duration of support will depend on the size of the Institute or Centre and the level of strategic funding available for research within the University.
 
The Funds that will be managed by an Institute or Centre Director include:
  • Funds provided by the University – agreed amount over the 5 or 3-year period respectively;
  • Research Support Program (RSP) (Block grant) [30% to the Faculty: 70% to the Institute / Centre];
  • Research Training Program (RTP) (Block grant) [70% to the Faculty; 30% to the Institute / Centre);
  • Research Strategy Funds (DVCR&I) [100% to the Institute or Centre];
  • Externally earned research funds including grants, contracts and consultancy funds with [100% of the levy to the Faculty]; and,
  • Other funds earned by the Institute or Centre.
The Institute or Centre Director will be responsible for appropriate and ethical management of these funds to achieve the research goals.
 
APPENDIX D
Relationship of a Research Institute or Centre to Faculties at the University of Canberra
A Research Institute or Research Centre will have a nominated lead Faculty for the purposes of providing administrative support. The lead Faculty will normally be the Faculty with the closest disciplinary relationship to the Research Institute or Research Centre and with the greatest ‘investment’ of staff in the Institute or Centre. The relationship between Faculties, Institutes and Centres must be one of mutual benefit and support. It must emphasise the need to maintain a clear link between the teaching and research activities within the University. Formal arrangements will be agreed to at the time of establishment of Institutes or Centres.
 
Staff
  • Academic staff designated as Assistant Professors, Associate Professors or Professors are appointed to a Faculty.
  • Reviews of performance and development of academic staff within the Institute or Centre will be the joint responsibility of the Faculty Executive Dean and the Research or Centre Director.
  • Research Institutes or Research Centres in consultation with the Executive Dean may employ contract fixed-term academic, technical or other research staff as required for specific projects. The Institute or Centre Director will be responsible for a review of their research performance and development. A Research Institute or Research Centre may not appoint continuing academic staff.
  • Research-focussed contract fixed-term academic staff may be appointed, in consultation with the Executive Dean, to a Research Institute or Research Centre using the designations of postdoctoral fellow, research fellow, senior research fellow and principal research fellow which are aligned with academic staff salary scales. Such staff will also be staff of the Faculty. PEAS for these research focused positions will apply.
  • Research Institute- or Research Centre-appointed academic staff will be encouraged to be involved with the teaching program of a Faculty. This would enhance the educational and teaching program of a Faculty, provide valuable career enhancing teaching experience for postdocs; and, maintain and strengthen the teaching-research link.
HDR Students
HDR Students in award courses including Honours, Master by research, PhD and Professional Doctorates are the responsibility of the Faculty.
 
Administrative arrangements
All administrative support will be provided through the designated Faculty. Where general technical support is required, for example, lab management or field-work, this should also be provided through the Faculty technical support systems.
 
Space
All space is allocated to Faculties through the normal arrangements operating in the University. The Executive Dean of the designated Faculty will determine, in consultation with the Director of the Research Institute or Research Centre:
  • laboratory and storage space required;
  • space for HDR students;
  • other space specifically required for the operation of the Institute or Centre; and,
  • all academic office space is allocated by the Faculty.
APPENDIX E
Review of a Research Institute or Research Centre at the University of Canberra
An Institute or Centre will be reviewed in the 4th or 2nd-year of operation respectively (or earlier if required) with a view to either:
(a) continuation for a further 5 or 3-years as a Research Institute or Research centre respectively;
(b) continuation with modifications to the operations and composition of the Institute or Centre including arrangements to transition from a Research Centre into a Research Institute; or,
(c) disestablishment following the initial 5 or 3-year term respectively.

Terms of reference for Research Institute or Research Centre reviews are as follows:
  • An evaluation of the performance of the Institute or Centre with respect to its objectives;
  • An assessment of the governance and management of the Research Institute or Research Centre, and where relevant University administrative support and management processes;
  • An evaluation of the relationship of the Institute or Centre to Faculty(ies);
  • An evaluation of the degree to which the Institute or Centre has received international and national recognition for its activities respectively;
  • An assessment of the degree to which the Institute or Centre has engaged with other Faculties and Research Institutes or Research Centres within the University or with collaborators external to the University to develop industry and interdisciplinary links; and,
  • Measures that would assist the Institute or Centre to achieve its objectives and achieve international recognition as a centre of research excellence.
A Review Panel will be convened by the DVCR&I and have external members with appropriate research expertise. The Review Panel will make a recommendation to the DVCR&I. The recommendation will be considered by VCG, the Executive and the Vice-Chancellor and the agreed outcome implemented by the Office of the DVCR&I.
 
Research Institutes or Research Centres will be required to provide to a Review Panel:
  • A response to the Terms of Reference;
  • Data for the five or three-year period respectively against specified research performance measures;
  • A detailed description of membership of the Institute or Centre, including: Executive membership and structure; Research staff (appointment type/level/faculty affiliation); Students (HDR, Honours); Adjuncts; and,
  • Strategic Research Plan and KPI documents covering the five or three-year period respectively;
Following recommendations from the Review Panel on the closure of a Research Institute or Research Centre, the Director of the relevant Institute or Centre will take steps to either appeal the decision or to prepare for disestablishment.
 
The appeal will take the form of a formal response to the recommendations of the Review Panel that also addresses the TOR of the Review of Institute or Centre noted above.
 
Where a closure is recommended, during the ‘transition year of the disestablishment’ (year 5 or year 3 for Research Institutes or Research Centres respectively) the Director of the Institute or Centre would ensure that:
  • All members, affiliates and associates are properly informed and the decision for the closure communicated widely;
  • Final financial statements are prepared for all funds including the closure of cost centres;
  • All assets and equipment are properly accounted for in an Assets Register and custody returned and transferred to the relevant Faculty(ies);
  • Execute all documents for all projects and agreements that are reasonably necessary or desirable to give effect to a satisfactory closure;
  • Warrant that all obligations under the original proposal to set up the Institute or Centre have been met and dispensed with; and,
  • Comply with any request from the Executive Dean for the return to the University of any misspent, unexpended or uncommitted funds in accordance with the agreement in the original proposal in setting up the Research Institute or Research Centre.